Above: Yara gets grilled.
“What qualities do I look for in an All-Star?” pondered RuPaul Charles, leaning back in a patio chair outside the Abbey, a posh gay bar in West Hollywood. “These are the kids who have risen to the top. Listen, they’re all great, but some of these kids, quite frankly, you can’t remember their names. But the ones that we’ve chosen… you understand who they are, why they’re there, and what they bring to the party. And what makes them special is star quality. They have star quality.”
The world’s most famous drag queen was, for the moment, out of drag. Behind him, however, a procession of gowned men strutted the red carpet at the RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race premiere party. They were the “kids,” the heroes and villains, the “Heathers” and “boogers” from past seasons of Logo’s popular reality television series RuPaul’s Drag Race.
For nearly all of these drag queens, the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar slipped from the tips of their press-on nails. (Raja was the only champion present.) But thanks to a special edition All Stars season, which premieres Monday, 12 former contestants will have another opportunity to snatch the crown.
“The public wanted more of the show,” RuPaul said. “So the obvious choice was to bring back ‘the Avengers’ of drag: the biggest and the baddest.”